Kibaran Resources (ASX:KNL) has used testwork to confirm that the graphite from the Epanko Graphite Project is of superior quality to the current supply sourced from China and is suitable for all downstream graphite uses.
This includes the production of expandable graphite, which is also referred to as Graphite Intercalation Compound (GIC).
To benchmark, the results are superior to those achieved from graphite produced in China which is currently the dominant supplier of expandable graphite to the world market.
Typical expansion volumes for quality grades of expandable graphite from China are 370 ml/g for +50 mesh material and 280 ml/g for +80 mesh material, measured under similar test conditions to those applied to Epanko graphite samples.
Expansion rates are linked to the flake size, hence Jumbo (+50 mesh) and Large (+80 mesh) are desired fractions with increase in volume the most important measurement.
Andrew Spinks, managing director, commented: "Kibaran's graphite will provide an alternative long-term term stable supply of superior quality graphite to the current supply sourced from China."
The metallurgical testwork samples were selected from the seven diamond holes drilled as part of the Bankable Feasibility Study diamond drilling program.
The testwork was undertaken by an independent, specialized German graphite laboratory and standard test parameters were applied.
Kibaran said that both samples were processed by conventional flotation and the resulting concentrates were divided into four different screen fractions, being jumbo to medium flake size (+32, +50, +80 and +150 mesh). Each size fraction was tested separately.
The testwork utilised potassium permanganate (KMnO4) as the oxidizer and sulphuric Acid (H2SO4), both of which are commonly used for the commercial production of GIC on an industrial scale.
Results are measured as the expansion volume after heat treatment of the expandable graphite with greater volumes per unit of mass being the objective.
Quality and purity
The superior quality of Epanko's graphite also extends to other properties including a higher ash melting point of 1,305°C and ultra-high purity (99.98% C).
Graphite produced in China and used in refractory applications has an ash melting point between 1,150-1,250°C.
The outstanding quality characteristics of Epanko's graphite provides significant competitive advantage and paves the way for it to be used in a wide range of applications.
The potential ranges from the basic such as refractories to the sophisticated applications of anode grade graphite for Lithium-Ion-Batteries and expandable graphite for graphite foil production.
A recent oversubscribed capital raising provided Kibaran with $5.6 million, which will fund the company to a development decision at Epanko.
Kibaran has also received an Expression of Interest (NYSE:EOI) from one of Europe's largest Development Finance Institutions (DFI) to co-finance development of the project.
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